Tokoyo: The Tower of Perpetuity (Nintendo Switch) Review

A New Albeit Limited Take on Roguelikes

By Alex Orona

Tokoyo is a new anime roguelike game from publisher Playsim, that brings some cutesy chibi art to a simplified take on the genre. There’s unique variations to randomized dungeon generation as well as combat, but in the end takes more away than adds to what could be a competent platformer. 

Tokoyo: The Tower of Perpetuity wears a lot of hats. It is a 2D puzzle platformer that has you ascending an endless tower, avoiding traps, enemies, and solving puzzles to progress. It is also a roguelike, as the tower is procedurally generated and once you die, your run starts again from the beginning, losing all upgrades you had gathered along the way. The tower itself, while procedurally generated, resets every 24 hours, so if you map out a good route and have a good memory, there’s a time limit for you. 

It also has combat elements, specifically a single spell that when activated will perform AOE attacks on the screen for up to 10 seconds. After the spell is done, there is a long cooldown period of roughly 45 seconds before the ability can be used again. This leaves a lot of downtime where you have no actions to perform other than jumping and dodging enemies. There are tons of upgrades to unlock but most offer passive boosts like max HP increases or aoe attacks when hit by enemies. Considering the key word is PASSIVE, the gameplay feels like having one hand tied behind your back. 

Other than those things, there isn’t much to Tokoyo. There are other characters to use which vary their one ability, and there are unlockable journal entries giving context to your characters, but otherwise the gameplay mechanics remain the same throughout. There’s a lot of challenges within the depths of this tower but outside of the 24 hour reset, it plays very similarly every time you get into a run so the value is in perfecting your routine per reset. 

Taking multiple genres and combining them only works if the sum is greater than the parts and in this case they feel lesser than. The 24 hour reset gives an opportunity for mastering your skills, but it also hinders the excitement of not knowing what’s around the corner. Also only having a single skill on a lengthy cool down feels limiting just for the sake of simplifying. The overall design and mechanics feel solid but there needs to be more to rope me into more than a few minutes of this game at a time. I will continue to check in on Tokoyo for a run here or there, but generally speaking I have no plans of continuing on this for the long term. 


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